Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Last Farewell to Singapore

Ah, you thought you'd heard the last of me, huh? Well, it turns out I have a couple more posts left in me after a four-month hiatus from blogging! I want to tell you about my bittersweet last week in Singapore. And I also wanted to let everyone know that I'm going to keep blogging, but at a new URL that I'll share stay tuned!

So I left Singapore at the very end of July, 10 days after Bryan had already departed for the US. It was a strange time for me - I was running all over the place, trying to wrap up work and get all of our affairs in order before leaving. I was so busy that I hardly had time to process the fact that I was really going back to the US. But I did take the time to take myself on one last Singapore outing.

The Blog Awards occurred my last Saturday in Singapore (nope, we didn't win, but props to Spin or Bin Music and all the other winners!) I went solo to the Blog Awards, which took place on the Singapore Food Trail. Honestly, it wasn't the time of my life - it was hot and crowded and I couldn't hear very well. But it was cool  to see some of the other bloggers, especially the super adorable little boys who won the Best V-Log category. But for me, the big highlight was the free ride on the Singapore Flyer that came after the awards ceremony was over!
Flyer from afar

The Singapore Flyer is the tallest Ferris wheel in the world (well, technically it's an observation wheel, but whatever). It's one of the most noticeable landmarks on Singapore's skyline. I'd been avoiding it for the past three years because Bryan's not a big fan of heights and the cost for a ride is a bit high (SG$33 per person). But of course, I'm always game for a free ride!
The wheel's rotation brings it right down into the building where you board the Flyer.

A visit to the Flyer starts with a walk through the melodramatically named "Journey of Dreams," a little museum. There was a hodgepodge of interesting stuff in there, including a funky art installation by artist David Chan Kien Wai.
Oneiroi's Orb, made of 1500 everyday objects
Also featured was a miniature Flyer.
Singapore loves miniatures. I support this obsession.

I didn't spend much time in the Journey of Dreams since I was eager to move on to the main event. I passed through a turnstile and onto the "flight deck," which had a cool view of the giant space-age capsules that you ride in.
Each capsule holds up to 28 people!

The wheel turns really slowly and doesn't stop for people to get on and off. You just have to hop on and watch your step! The loading platform is really long and curved, so there's enough time for the people in the capsule to get out, and for new people to board on the other side. So I piled on in with about 15 other strangers.
The capsule ahead of us, just as we start the ride
Doesn't look very secure, does it?!

It was a gorgeous, clear day, so the visibility was great. One of the first things I noticed was that the aerial view of the new Gardens by the Bay was really awesome.
The famous supertrees
Supertrees and greenhouses
Me up in the air!

Looking back down on the building that I was just in was a bit dizzying!
You can see how someone with a fear of heights might not love it...
Looks a bit fragile from this angle!
Looking inside and outside at the same time was trippy too!!

It's amazing how much you can see from the flyer on such a crystal clear day! It really made me realize just how small Singapore really is.
Downtown - MBS off to the left
The Esplanade with the spaceship-esque Supreme Court building in the background
ArtScience Museum

Remember how I said that there are tons of HDB buildings in Singapore?
I wasn't kidding.

After I had my feet back on solid ground, I decided to walk over to the newly opened Gardens by the Bay, since it would be my last chance to check it out. It had looked so close from the Flyer, but it turned out to be a bit of a walk, especially because you can't cut across Marina Bay Sands areas to take the most direct route. It was a hot day, so I ended up stopping in at MBS for a cold drink, and eventually I made my way to the Gardens by going down to the MRT and following the signs from there. It's so frustrating to be able to see a place but not to be able to get to it! But in the end, it was worth all the hassle.
Dragonfly sculpture at Dragonfly Lake

The supertrees were much more impressive up close. They're massive in scale -  there are 18 of them, and the tallest is 16 stories tall. There are over 150,000 plants comprising more than 200 species planted all over them, and if that's not impressive enough, they light up at night!
Supertree Grove
There were a LOT of people there

The supertrees were amazing to behold, but the areas around them were crammed with curious onlookers, so I wandered into a less crowded part of the garden before long. The conservatories are also pretty beautiful close-up, but since the gardens had just opened they were really popular so I decided not to go in.
So futuristic...I expected lasers to start shooting out at any second

There were lots of neat sculptures scattered around the gardens, which made aimless wandering interesting and rewarding!
In the India-themed part of the garden
Off in a quiet corner that I had all to myself!

Away from the main supertree grove is a smaller area with just a few of the impressive structures. I was able to stand and quietly admire them for a few minutes without being jostled by hundreds of other onlookers.
So geometric!

There's a nice view of Marina Bay Sands from the gardens too. It was weird to see it from the other side. The Garden area had been closed for a long time since it was under construction, so I'd never seen MBS from this angle.
Fancy pants

I hadn't been at the Gardens very long, but it had been a long, hot day, so I headed home. As I sat on the MRT it occurred to me that this was my last big hoorah. I had lots of work to do over the next few days, with wrapping up my job and with getting my stuff packed and trying to tie up all the loose ends associated with vacating a country. I wouldn't have time for any more big adventures. It was strange to think about, but I was glad that I'd spent the day taking myself out on a date in the city. It was a nice farewell to the country that had become a second home.

So that was it! I headed back to Ohio a few days later, and started making preparations for our impending move to St. Louis. Compared to our previous international moves, a move to St. Louis seemed like a cakewalk! Now that we're back in the US, I plan to start another blog. Once it's up and running, I'll post one last update here. Thanks to everyone who followed our Southeast Asian adventures over the past few years - we loved sharing them with you!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Just to let you know, the building in the picture under "Remember how I said that there are tons of HDB buildings in Singapore?" is actually a private Condo, not a HDB. Cheers!

  3. Wow i was looking for this. Thanks for sharing this with us.Keep on doing such work often.

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  4. Excellent post and very nice pics and information . i like supertrees it's awesome ..................................thanks for sharing

  5. I just like the valuable information you provide for your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check once more right here regularly. I am reasonably sure I will be told plenty of new stuff right right here! Best of luck for the following!

  6. Nice blog and interesting post with pictures. Good sharing with sincerity
    Indeed Singapore is a small developed island.
    However, anybody will love this island for it's famous variety of food and cleanliness.

  7. I enjoyed your blog and your pictures, thank you for sharing! Sorry to hear you guys didn't win the award, maybe next year will be a better year. There are tons of awards across the world though and I have no doubt you will pick up more than a few in the future! I hope to visit Singapore before the year is out, if you have any suggestions of tips for a fellow blog writer then please send them over ;-)